Valcyte

Drug List

Valcyte

Drug Name

Valcyte (Valganciclovir HCl)

Manufactured By

Genentech, Inc.

Drug Savings

Nationwide Prescription Connection (NPC) is an experienced advocacy service that helps connect patients to manufacturer provided free and discount programs. We can help the uninsured, under insured, those in the Medicare gap also known as the "doughnut hole", or even those needing help with expensive co-pays.  Our web site makes it easy for you to enter the medications you are taking, along with some basic patient information, and then finds the program that is right for you.

NPC's mission is your health. We recognize your need for help when you are applying for discount programs for your prescription medications. We consist of friendly and experienced advocates that not only know how these free and discount programs work, but are ready to help. We are available to take your call and answer any questions you may have as you search for the right program to fit your needs. We can also explain any supporting material you may need to provide as you apply for these programs. If for any reason you are denied, we also are experienced in the best appeals process with a high success rate.

Treats Disease/Condition

Uses

Valganciclovir is an anti-viral drug. It is changed in the body to the active form of the drug called ganciclovir. It is used to prevent disease caused by a virus called cytomegalovirus (CMV) in people who have received organ transplants. CMV disease can lead to serious infections in the body, including an infection in the eye, called CMV retinitis, that can cause blindness. Valganciclovir works by slowing the growth of the CMV virus. It helps prevent the spread of infection to other areas of the body. Valganciclovir is also used to treat CMV retinitis in people with advanced HIV disease (AIDS). This medication helps control CMV retinitis and decrease the risk of blindness. Valganciclovir is not a cure for CMV disease. Some people may have worsening CMV retinitis even with treatment. Therefore, it is important to have your eyes checked regularly by your doctor. This drug may also be used to help prevent CMV disease in patients receiving cancer chemotherapy treatment.

How To Use

Read the Patient Information Leaflet provided by your pharmacist before you start taking valganciclovir and each time you get a refill. If you have any questions, consult your doctor or pharmacist. Take this medication by mouth with food, usually 1 to 2 times a day or as directed by your doctor. Swallow the tablets whole. Do not crush or break the tablets. If you are using the liquid form of this medication, shake the bottle well before each dose. Carefully measure the dose using the special measuring device provided. Do not use a household spoon because you may not get the correct dose. Wash your hands well after handling this drug. Avoid contact with broken/crushed tablets and the liquid form of this medication on your skin, in your mucous membranes and eyes, and avoid breathing in the dust from the tablets. If contact should occur, wash the area thoroughly with soap and water. If this medication gets in your eyes, rinse them thoroughly with plain water. The dosage and length of treatment is based on your medical condition (especially kidney function). In children, the dosage is also based on their body size. The doctor should keep track of your child's height and weight to make sure that the dose is right for them. This medication works best when the amount of drug in your body is kept at a constant level. Therefore, take this drug at evenly spaced intervals. To help you remember, take it at the same time(s) each day. Continue taking this medication exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Do not change your dose or stop taking it even for a short time unless directed to do so by your doctor. Changing or skipping your dose without approval from your doctor may increase the risk of side effects or make the infection worse. Do not take ganciclovir instead of valganciclovir on your own without consulting your doctor or pharmacist. The effects and the dosages of ganciclovir and valganciclovir are not equal.

Side Effects

Diarrhea, upset stomach, dizziness, drowsiness, unsteadiness, or shaking (tremors) may occur. If any of these effects persist or worsen, tell your doctor or pharmacist promptly. Tell your doctor right away if any of these unlikely but serious side effects occur: mental/mood changes (such as confusion, hallucinations), signs of kidney problems (such as change in the amount of urine), seizures. A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, seek immediate medical attention if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing. This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.

Drug Interactions

Drug interactions may change how your medications work or increase your risk for serious side effects. This document does not contain all possible drug interactions. Keep a list of all the products you use (including prescription/nonprescription drugs and herbal products) and share it with your doctor and pharmacist. Do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any medicines without your doctor's approval. Some products that may interact with this drug include: didanosine, imipenem/cilastatin, probenecid. You may be taking other drugs that decrease bone marrow function and lower your number of blood cells (such as cancer chemotherapy, trimethoprim/sulfamethoxazole, zidovudine) or other drugs that may cause kidney problems (such as cyclosporine). Your doctor or pharmacist will monitor you closely and adjust your medications to decrease your risk of serious side effects. Valganciclovir is very similar to ganciclovir. Do not use medications containing ganciclovir while using valganciclovir.

In Case of Overdose

If someone has overdosed and has serious symptoms such as passing out or trouble breathing, call 911. Otherwise, call a poison control center right away. US residents can call their local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222.

In Case of Missed Dose

If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you remember. If it is near the time of the next dose, skip the missed dose and resume your usual dosing schedule. Do not double the dose to catch up.

Storage

Store the tablets at room temperature away from light and moisture. Do not store in the bathroom. Store the liquid form of this medication in the refrigerator. Do not freeze. The medication expires 49 days after it was prepared by the pharmacy.